Sometimes

Publisher: Lion Hudson

When Toby’s sister Clemmie is unwell, she has to go and stay in hospital. So, together, they find a string of ways to make the experience as fun as possible – from exploring the playroom and making friends with other children to sailing to distant lands on her hospital bed. Best of all, the family has an excuse for a great party when Clemmie comes home.

This book is a follow-up to Elliott’s first book about the relationship between Toby and his disabled older sister, Just Because. This time, Toby and Clemmie ably illustrate how hospitals need not be feared, whilst not shying away from the fact that stays in hospital can also involve less pleasant things like feeding tubes, drips and injections – and hospital food. The balance is just right, with a wonderfully positive and heartwarming pitch and plenty of touches of humour – such as Toby and Clemmie offering to ‘help’ the doctors.  

Disability is of course not always associated with illness and hospitals, and there is a distinct need for more books which show healthy disabled people leading ‘normal’ lives.  However there is definitely also a place for a book like this, showing the realities of conditions which affect day-to-day health and may perhaps even limit life. In addition, this is a book which will help familiarise any child or sibling with the concept of hospital visits.

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